What do you get when you cross a chocolate chip cookie and a blondie? Chocolate chip cookie bars! These tasty vegan treats have chewy sides, soft centers and are packed with chocolate chips. When you don’t have time to make individual cookies, this cookie bar recipe really comes in handy. The dough is baked into one big, delicious chocolate chip cookie and then cut into bars that the whole family will love. Yum!
Many people would assume that chocolate chip cookie bars made with cooked chickpeas would turn out weird tasting, but that’s so not true. These cookie bars are so soft and fluffy, naturally sweetened and I guarantee, no one will guess they are made using garbanzo beans instead of flour. Also, because they contain no eggs, dairy, or refined sugar, they are loved by all kinds of eaters: vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, and even picky children.
WHY WE LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Easy to make. There’s no need to shape cookies because you easily bake the whole cookie dough in one pan.
- 100% plant-based. No eggs or dairy ingredients are needed to make these vegan cookie bars.
- Naturally sweetened. Instead of using refined sugar, the recipe calls for pitted dates.
- Good for you. Packed with protein from almond butter and chickpeas, plus extra nutrients from the dates and oats, you can truly feel great about eating these!
Here’s what you need to make these chocolate chip cookie bars:
- Cooked chickpeas
- Pitted dates
- Gluten-free rolled oats
- Chocolate or carob chips
- Almond butter
- Pure vanilla extract
- Baking powder
- Water or maple syrup
- Cooked chickpeas: They replace the flour in this recipe, making these cookie bars flourless.
- Gluten-free rolled oats: Oats themselves don’t contain wheat gluten, but they’re often farmed or processed in ways that cause cross-contamination. Because of this, certified gluten-free oats have been carefully handled to avoid that issue.
- Pitted dates: I like to sweeten these chocolate chip cookie bars with pitted dates, which also gives them a caramelized complexity.
- Baking powder: It’s the leavening agent that helps the cookie dough rise, creating a deliciously soft, baked treat.
- Chocolate or carob chips: Because we could all use a bit more chocolate! Using dairy-free carob chips keeps the cookie bars vegan.
- Vanilla extract: A splash of vanilla brings out the sweetness in all the other flavors and really pulls the tastes together.
STEP 1: PREP THE INGREDIENTS
Drain the can of chickpeas into a sieve and rinse under cold running water. Shake to remove excess water and place the legumes into a food processor mounted with the S-blade attachment.
STEP 2: BLEND THE INGREDIENTS
To the same food processor bowl, add the rolled oats, pitted dates, almond butter, vanilla extract, a couple of tablespoons of water or maple syrup, and baking powder. Blend everything together.
If the dough is too chunky, add another two tablespoons of water or maple syrup and blend again. Repeat until it forms a sticky, thick yet smooth chickpea cookie dough batter.
Add part of the chocolate (or carob) chips to the mixture. Using a silicone spatula, fold the chips until combined.
STEP 3: PLACE IN PAN AND BAKE
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and use the spatula to spread it evenly.
Next, sprinkle the remaining chocolate (or carob) chips across the top and gently press them into the cookie bar dough.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the top is completely set and lightly golden brown, and the edges are slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan.
STEP 4: COOL AND CUT
Remove from the oven and let it cool completely while in the baking pan, for around 20 minutes to one hour.
Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bars or squares. Alternatively, you can cut the bars straight from the pan. The amount of chocolate chip cookie bars you get will depend on the size you cut.
Serve with some dairy-free ice cream or your favorite hot drink.
- Use a food processor instead of a hand or stand mixer. The food processor helps to break up the ingredients better, thus helping everything to incorporate well together.
- Substitute for chickpeas. If you don’t have chickpeas at hand, you can also use canned white beans or an equal amount of cooked sweet potato purée.
- Topping options for the cookie bars. If you don’t want to top with chocolate chips, you can also use dried fruits such as raisins, any kind of sprinkles, or nuts.
- Storage. These chickpea chocolate chip cookie bars keep at room temperature in an airtight container, or covered in plastic wrap, for 2-3 days. Or you may refrigerate for 5-6 days to keep longer, but they do taste best at room temperature.
- Save the chickpea water. Instead of pouring out the liquid from the drained chickpeas, save it and whip it together with a little powdered sugar for quick and easy vegan whipped cream.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can you freeze chocolate chip cookie bars?
Yes, you can freeze these vegan cookie bars. First, make sure the cookie bars are completely cooled before placing them in an airtight container. Store in your freezer for up to 2 months. Just thaw and enjoy when ready to eat!
What’s the difference between chocolate chip cookies vs bars?
Chocolate chip cookie bars are soft, chewy, and easier than making traditional cookies. The ingredients are the same but the ratios differ, as well as the baking time. These differences create a more brownie-like version of chocolate chip cookies (i.e. cookie bars).
Can you make chocolate chip cookie bars without butter?
Yes, you can. Instead of butter, you can use melted coconut oil or any dairy-free butter alternative. However, if you’re like me and prefer want an oil-free treat every now and then, this recipe is for you!
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TRY THESE VEGAN BAKED TREATS NEXT:
- First, try my vegan jam thumbprint cookies recipe that is perfect for any time of the year. Fill these cookies with your favorite jam or preserves for a real treat to eat.
- Next, you should check out my vegan cinnamon rolls recipe that is a delicious take on classic cinnamon rolls. They are soft as a pillow with a cinnamon and sugar filling and a yummy vanilla glaze.
- Finally, don’t snooze on my vegan peach coffee cake with a streusel topping recipe. It’s a healthier, plant-based coffee cake that tastes just like its traditional counterpart with a warmly spiced crumb topping and fresh peaches.
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